Team India gave their fans a moment of joy after registering a brilliant victory over Sri Lanka to secure their eighth Asia Cup title on Sunday. The Rohit Sharma-led team performed well throughout the tournament, winning every game except one against Bangladesh. In the final game, pacer Mohammed Siraj stole the show with his impressive six-wicket haul and also bagged the Player of the Match award. Apart from him, it was spinner Kuldeep Yadav who was declared player of the series for his powerful performance.
Kuldeep took a five-wicket haul against arch-rivals Pakistan, followed by a four-wicket haul against Sri Lanka. Now, as Team India prepares for the upcoming ODIs against Australia ahead of the 2023 World Cup, BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar Kuldeep termed India as a ‘trump card'.
“I spent time with him in the IPL. He is a man with special abilities. Every man needs to be trusted and the Indian team management has done that and the results are there. He is a trump card (for us). Most teams.” “We see him as a challenge. We are all excited about what lies ahead,” Agarkar said during a press conference on Monday.
As for the ODIs against Australia, the wrist spinner has been rested for the first two, starting September 22. He will join the team in the third and final ODI on September 27.
Apart from Kuldeep, captain Rohit Sharma and senior batter Virat Kohli are also rested in the first two games. Veteran spinner R Ashwin made a comeback to the ODI team with the series and could be drafted into the Indian team for the World Cup if Axar Patel fails to get fit before the ICC's September 28 deadline.
Off-spinner Washington Sundar has also been included in the squad for all three matches and is another backup option for the World Cup.
Squad for the first two ODIs:KL Rahul (captain), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.
Squad for the third ODI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, R. Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohammed Siraj.
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